ATLANTA, GA – MAY 01: Atlanta Hawks mascot Harry the Hawk high fives the fans in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Indiana Pacers during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on May 1, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

When you think of the NBA, the Atlanta Hawks do not usually come to mind. The Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers and others get the main headlines, but the Hawks are the group setting records for local ratings this season. That’s what happens when you win 17 games in a row.

According to FOX Sports, compared to last year, the ratings are up 54 percent to a 1.7 rating per game, compared to a 1.1.

“What the Hawks continue to accomplish on the court is truly amazing and they deserve the full support of the Atlanta community, whether it’s turning out at Philips Arena or following the team on SportSouth,” said Jeff Genthner, senior vice president and general manager, FOX Sports South. “The historic ratings from the games in prime time on Friday night and early evening 6 p.m. ET start on a Sunday clearly indicate the Hawks have become appointment viewing on SportSouth.”

Atlanta is generating plenty of buzz recently, owning the Eastern Conference’s best record at 38-8. The Hawks’ popularity is growing by the game, shown by their 3.6 rating when playing the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves on Jan. 28. The number was Atlanta’s second-highest of the season on SportsSouth.

With college football out of the way and the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons long home for the winter, the Hawks should only see their ratings increase with continued good play. Atlanta has nothing else to concern itself with sports-wise until April when the Atlanta Braves hit the diamond, but they are expected to have a down season. The Hawks are a young, exciting team with a Cinderella story to them, making the entire thing all the more appealing.

[FOX Sports]

About Matt Verderame

Matt Verderame, 26, is a New Yorker who went to school at the frozen tundra of SUNY Oswego. After graduating, Verderame has worked for Gannett and SB Nation among other ventures.

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